Published: Saturday 04 July 2015

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has proposed a us $25 million-plan to set up a chain of small hydel units in the Indian Himalayas in a bid to wean the local population away from their dependence on forest resources for energy needs. Around 20 units are to be set up under this plan funded by the Global Environment Facility. Dulas Engineering of the UK are the main consultants with several Indian firms and institiutes including the Tata Energy Research Institute and the University of Roorkee's Alternate Hydel-Energy Centre also involved in the project. Already underway, the scheme is expected to be completed by 1999.

Reluctance by rich and poor countries to accept people fleeing persecution and conflict has left increasing number of refugees with "nowhere to run," the United Nations (UN) refugee agency says in its recently published annual report. While the number of "true" refugees -- those who have crossed national boundaries -- had been shrinking and 10 million had returned home since 1990, the numbers displaced in their own countries continue to rise. Up to 25 million people, beyond the 22 million already cared for by the un High Commissioner for Refugees might have been forced to abandon their homes, and many trapped in war zones in their own countries.

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